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Red City Review


When the characters of The Author or The Characters’ Short Living Story find themselves together with no memory of what happened to them before, the stage is set for an adventure in the mind of the talented author. It’s a creative (and very meta) narrative twist. The author introduces himself to Lisa, Violet, Henry, Leo, Kimberly, and Joe, who are understandably confused about their roles in the author’s mind games. He encourages his characters to make the most of the mysterious upcoming conflict for the sake of the Reader. Although angry with the author over his meddling, they continue to travel to each new setting in search of their past, with the Author always one step ahead.

Although it’s a befuddling premise, Facundo Raganato allows the character’s continued confusion to explain the story’s dynamics in an organic and entertaining way. As Joey frowns into the mirror, the Reader discovers his dark eyes, “comically uneven” hair, and thick brown jacket for the first time with him. Likewise, we learn of Lisa’s “discipline, strength, and confidence” and that what Henry lacks in muscle, he makes up in intelligence. Raganato simultaneously weaves in a commentary on both reading and writing. 

“It’s interesting how in literature, the meaning of a character can affect the story of how it is lived. But, since the story is lived by the Reader, all the infinite meanings we all could derive are just different views of the same room,” he writes. The characters travel from one scene to the next, intent on escaping destiny as dictated by the Author and the Reader. As the story winds down, the antics amp up and the ending is perhaps too dramatic for the rest of the book. The underlying love story that has been growing gradually suddenly explodes into a slightly melodramatic but still satisfying ending. While the narrative itself, rather ironically, can feel forced at times, overall it’s a nicely executed exploration of what it means to be a Reader.


- Red City Review

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